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Thunderbirds End Show Early In Chicago Today  
User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 4 months 4 days ago) and read 5213 times:

The Thunderbirds ended their show early today in Chicago after news reports said a part fell off one of the planes. All aircraft and crew are safe as far as I know.

I was taking pictures from my roof deck in an area away from show center. Something was up as the two solo pilots flew in a racetrack holding pattern - one end of which was over my house - for about 20 minutes. On their last circuit they just headed straight to Gary where the show planes are operating from.

We saw all six planes at the start of the routine and the diamond made one pass over my house. We never saw the diamond again and the solo's then started holding.

I'll post a follow up when I hear more.

B777Fan

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCcrlR From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5171 times:
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I actually got the pictures of the plane with the missing part. Here is more information. I'll show them later.
http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_232171527.html

It fell into Lake Michigan. I was at the VIP Area when it happened.



"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

CcrlR,

Thanks for the link. I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures.

A recap of the video link on the page.

The starboard missle rail of the number 4 Thunderbird (slot in the diamond) fell off near show center into the lake.

All 6 planes and crew returned fine. The part fell in the airshow restricted area so no one on the ground (or on one of the hundreds of boats in the lake) was hit.

I also heard an interview from someone who thought the cause was a bird strike. Sounded very speculative.

No word yet on whether they will perform tomorrow.

I took a trip to Gary yesterday and caught them landing after returning from a practice session. I was going to go to the lake front tomorrow. Hope they still fly.


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5139 times:

Somebody on dpreview.com posted pictures showing the missle rail coming off the plane. It also appears that the piece came off as a result of contact between two of the planes.

I will post the link here with a warning and disclaimer. The images all have big ugly copyright notices on them. If that upsets you, please don't look at them, and don't blame me, they're not mine. I also want to emphasize that the pictures do NOT prove that the planes made contact.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=14704922

I was at an airshow once, either Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, that was delayed while one of the pilots landed and changed planes due to a mechanical problem. I believe that is the normal procedure, they change planes if they have to, but they don't cancel. However, an incident with planes touching would certainly be cause for cancellation because they need to have an immediate investigation to figure out what went wrong.

Update: Larger pictures have been posted to show a pretty good shot of the planes touching. Like I said before, this isn't proof, but it sure the heck looks to me like they touched. The copyright notice is still there, but you can clearly see the important details.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=14706028

[Edited 2005-08-21 03:05:25]

User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5115 times:

Yep. That looks like contact, followed by seperation.

I also noticed from my own shots when they went over my house and from these images that number 4 was a two seater today.

Looking back at some a.net Thunderbird shots it seems that mostly they use a one seater for number 4 but do occasionally slip in a two seater.

Does anybody know, is 4 supposed to be a one seater or two?


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5089 times:

Quoting B777fan (Reply 2):
I also heard an interview from someone who thought the cause was a bird strike. Sounded very speculative

I fiirst heard about this and just figured Dailey's ho was complaining about the noise over the mayors house again!



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineCcrlR From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5071 times:
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That's what I thought. Well, here's my photo, had to get it edited so you can see it. Fox News Channel had something on it.
http://www.geocities.com/miranova42/...rbids_incindent.html?1124594714440



"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5057 times:

Here is a Sun Times article with a nice little picture after the object fell off.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/airwater20.html

No new news but a nice picture.


User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5045 times:

I find this interesting. I looked at my pictures from my roof from today and yesterday.

As I posted above, the number 4 plane today was a two seater. When I looked at the shot from yesterday's morning practice, the number 4 plane was a one seater.

Yesterday's morning practice. One seater. (It's hard to tell - but it is)

Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Bob Meyers


Today's run before the rail came off. Two seater.

Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Bob Meyers


They also had an afternoon practice yesterday, but I don't have a shot of the number 4 plane as I was at the Gary airport and only got to see numbers 1, 2, and 3 land.

Here's another question then. Does anyone know what kind of variation in performance there is between the one seater and two seater?

What about just switching planes? A minor change in feel for the pilot seems like it could make a big difference in these tight quarters. Anybody have any idea?

Here's a nice one from the Gary airport landing yesterday afternoon. (It's number 2)


Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Bob Meyers


[Edited 2005-08-21 07:30:55]

User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10338 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

I will say that from the photos posted, it looks like the starboard missile rail of the slot hit the upper surface of the left rear stabilizer of the starboard wing. That is, quite frankly, quite a feat. One must realize that the slot is the lowest in altitude of any plane in the diamond formation (I think in the delta as well). The slot would have to exceed the altitude of the wings, and then descend, and clip the horizontal stabilizer of the right wing. While technically possible, it just seems unlikely.

The first photo in this website:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=14706028

seems fake to me. Based on perspective/size comparisons, there seems to be no way the slot F-16 could be below the point F-16. But hell, what do I know?

~Vik



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4887 times:

From WBBM Newsradio 780: "Thunderbirds Grounded for Air and Water Show. Their participation cancelled Sunday because object fell from one jet over lake."

User currently offlineElvisisalive From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4849 times:

Was at the practice show on friday, the T-Birds ended the practice show 1 plane short. They flew the high show and about 10 minutes in the diamond formation only had 3 planes. Have not seen anything regarding it in the news.

User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4799 times:

I was at the Gary Airport Friday when I took the picture of number 2 above. I had just moved into position to take these pictures after the two solo's landed. I was surprised to see only three planes 1,2,3 arrive. I thought I missed number four somehow.

I realize now that 4 must have arrived back very early - while I thought the practice was going on and I was driving around the field.

I wonder if that is what caused them to switch to the 2 seater for Saturday.


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4782 times:

We now have a confirmation: "Chandler, who pilots Thunderbird No.1, said Thunderbird plane Nos. 3 and 4 touched as they flew in their signature diamond formation Saturday afternoon."

http://www.nbc5.com/news/4877816/det...ml?z=dp&dpswid=2265994&dppid=65195


User currently offlineBravogolf From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4781 times:

As it looks now, 4 will have the missile rail replaced and 3 will have the vertical stabilizer replaced.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4742 times:

Quoting B777fan (Reply 8):
What about just switching planes? A minor change in feel for the pilot seems like it could make a big difference in these tight quarters. Anybody have any idea?

THey do it more often then you think. Usually during at least one of the practice runs, they have a "Media" run where they run a reporter up in the airplane.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4728 times:

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 9):
Based on perspective/size comparisons, there seems to be no way the slot F-16 could be below the point F-16

It does appear that the wingspan of the the slot plane is larger than that of the lead. I think that this is due to the bank angle of the slot being greater than that of the lead at the moment this pic was taken. If you look carefully at the photo you linked the missile rail of slot airplane is being bent upwards by the left stabilator of the right wing airplane.

Dl757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 3 days ago) and read 4706 times:

I'll venture a guess that #3 was out of position. He was too far left, too low, and too far back. It appeared that #4 was in the right place below #1, then #4 made a dramatic move to get away from #3 as they touched.

[Edited 2005-08-21 23:06:39]

User currently offlineKBFIspotter From United States of America, joined May 2005, 729 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4564 times:

#4 was a two seater at the McChord AFB airshow on July 30th. Could be that they need pilot proficiency in the aircraft....

KBFIspotter



Proud to be an A&P!!!
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4542 times:

The 2 seaters are flown to the show by the #7 or #8 pilots (who are the Liaison and Narrator iirc). In the day or 2 preceding the show various media people are given rides in the D model. If a spare TBird is needed, the 2 seater can fill that role too. In 20 years of going to airshows, I'd say at least 20% of the time either the Blues or TBirds were using a 2 seater as part of the show.

It has nothing at all to do with proficiency.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4312 times:

There's now a great picture of the incident in the database.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris Ware



User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4270 times:

Hey Bobster2,

Thanks for all the good posts on this thread.

All the relevant articles, pictures and quotes. You should be in the news business.


User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1687 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

They were scheduled to fly this weekend (August 27/28) in Westfield, MA. A press release was issued by the ANG base to this effect - what are the chances the T-Birds will actually be back in the air by this weekend?

International Air Show Still Flying High
WESTFIELD, MA (Monday, August 22, 2005) The 104th Fighter Wing of the
Massachusetts Air National Guard announced that the air show scheduled
for Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th, is still very much
on track.

"A minor incident with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in Chicago on
Saturday where two F-16s touched wingtips will not affect the planned
show here in Westfield", according to Col Tom Cantwell, 104th air show
coordinator. "We have a full day of flying and demonstrations planned
along with the exciting maneuvers of the full Thunderbird team and we
are confident the show will go on."


User currently offlineNavion From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1015 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4160 times:

The Thunderbirds have now stated they will fly the Westfield show this weekend.

With regard to comments that it looks like #3 is out of position, I beg to differ. If you look carefully at #4, he was very far forward under #1 when the bump occurred, and once it occurred, his downward angle is more pronounced than #3 which is flying a good "paint" through the whole maneuver. I think #4 was the one who was "a little to snug" up in there.

Whatever the cause, the T-birds obviously feel comfortable that they've identified and rectified the problem.


User currently offlineB777fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4133 times:

In the Cris Ware photo you can also see that #4 appears to be starboard of the diamond center.

Since he is below #1, with the geometry of this picture, his fuselage should not be in line with #1 in this image. Since it is, it implies he is to the right of #1.

For all the positions he could have been in, in relation to the diamond, too tight (forward), too high and too wide right, he looks like he might have been all of the above.

After making that judgment I wish to humbly acknowledge that I have no competence or skill to judge, just trying to understand out of curiosity.

Good to hear they will fly again this weekend.


25 Drewfly : Thank God. This is my first airshow in 10 years, I can stop worrying. Anyone else heading up to Westfield? The diamond formation really is the center
26 Bobster2 : Keep in mind that the diamond formation is supposed to look like a diamond from the viewpoint of the spectators. I think that explains why #4 is to th
27 ChrisNH : I am going to Westfield this Saturday, to see the Thunderbirds but MOSTLY to (finally) see a B2 bomber. I've never seen one in the air or on the groun
28 Hamfist : L-188, Yeah, they do run media rides at nearly every event, however, I've never heard of those media rides being a part of the practice formation (ex
29 Post contains images SATL382G : This whole discussion about swapping airframes for the slot guy got me thinking. When did the T-Birds stop sporting a blackened vertical stabilizer on
30 JohnJ : Can't answer your question, but I'd completely forgotten about the black stab on #4. My brother and I had a complete set of Thunderbird F-4 1/72 scale
31 Post contains links Bobster2 : The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a bootleg recording of radio transmissions between the Thunderbirds pilots and ground that was taped during and after t
32 Navion : Those idiots at the Sun-Times are so poor at knowing their subject that they actually mislabeled the photo in the photograph on their story linked in
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